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[165] say that Greenfield Hill is made to order and is inspired by morality and patriotism, is to state the genesis of all the serious work of the Hartford group.

Outrageously long poems on aesthetic subjects were rife in America toward the close of the century. At a time when society and politics were in a state of upheaval, when neither the domestic nor the foreign policy of the country had been settled, and when consequently there was so much of native interest to write about, it is incongruous to find so many poems suggested by Akenside's Pleasures of the imagination and Brooke's Universal beauty. Richard Alsop's Charms of fancy in all its 2300 lines of heroic couplets contains not a fresh image or an original idea; but The powers of genius by John Blair Linn is at least the work of a man of taste and scholarship and compares favourably with all but the very best of its British counterparts. The extreme of dulness and futility is reached in the many poems on philosophy and religion for which Pope and Young were largely responsible. Somewhat stronger and more interesting than most of these is Timothy Dwight's Triumph of Infidelity, which purports to be a satire, and which with irony and abuse rather than logic attempts to refute the arguments of the eighteenth century “infidels,” Voltaire included. Biblical paraphrases, too, multiplied after the Revolution, and appeared in large numbers between 1780 and 181o. These are supplemented by epics on biblical themes, the most celebrated of which is again the work of the indefatigable Timothy Dwight, written by the time he was twenty-two, but published when he was thirty-three and should have known better. The Conquest of Canaan (1785), in ten thousand lines of heroic couplets, owes its style to Pope's Homer and much of its method and imagery to Virgil and Milton. The epic as a whole is what might be expected when the poet's purpose is “to represent such manners as are removed from the peculiarities of any age or country, and might belong to the amiable and virtuous of any period, elevated without design, refined without ceremony, elegant without fashion, and agreeable because they are ornamented with sincerity, dignity, and religion.” Into the heroic biblical narrative are woven the loves of Irad and Selima and of Iram and Mira, who take their evening strolls through the lanes and meadows of Connecticut. Though intolerably

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